How To Choose A Good Quote For An Essay

If you are a student and are assigned to write an essay, you will have to insert specific quotes to prove your paper’s credibility. Many graduates have the wrong approach to selecting quotes for essays. Usually, they spend lots of time trying to find something that fits the context. And after hours spent searching for proper books and quotations, essays are wordy, clumsy, and of low quality. Indeed, you can always turn to academic writing services, like WriteMyEssayOnline, entrust to them your assignment, and forget about it until it’s done. But remember that sooner or later, you will have to complete a paper yourself. Forewarned is forearmed, and it is always great to be prepared for the task. Let’s see how to pick the right quote for your essay.

What is citing?

Why cite sources? Why add quotes to the essay? I wrote the essay by myself, why should I include academic articles? Students tend to address these questions. Indeed, a plethora of students doesn’t understand the use of citations. However, quotes are vitally important when writing an essay. First, they allow your reader to examine the source after reading your work. The reader can analyze whether you are objective or manipulate with facts. Also, a person can enlarge their knowledge on the topic if they are interested in it. Briefly, quotes are proof of your paper’s argument. Such evidence can be textual, statistical, or visual. Regardless of the form, you have to give credit to the author.

Direct quotes or paraphrases?

If you think that a precise quote reflects what you want to say, include a direct quote. If not, better change it, writing in your own words. However, remember to cite the source no matter whether you changed it or not. For instance, if you write about travels, and the quote by Jack Kerouac, “It’s time for me to quietly watch the world and even enjoy it, first in the woods like these, then just calmly walk and talk among people of the world” perfectly fits the context, include it, using brackets. If something is irrelevant, then paraphrase the quote.

How to find a good quote?

It goes without saying that to find great quotes, you have to understand the topic. Find out what the topic requires from you. Is it clear to you? When you know the question, you are ready to employ the best features of Google. But hold on a bit. You don’t have to include the first source you find on Google. Even though it is a great search engine and one can find almost anything there, you still need to be careful.

Our team of professionals recommends you go directly to authoritative pages, like Google Scholar,, ResearchGate, JSTOR, or similar websites. Why? We live in a fast-paced environment, and many scammers adjust to the trends and use cutting-edge technologies to deceive you and others. Stick to credible web pages, and you will find what you are looking for.

Once you do research and find the source and the quote, you have to make sure that the person is unbiased. Indeed, the mentioned pages are reliable. However, scholars may be different. One day an individual says one thing, another day – contradicts himself or herself. To stay away from this, analyze a person’s biography. If it doesn’t look stigmatized, you can rely on a scholar. Besides that, make sure the quote you use hasn’t been taken out of context and means directly the same you want to tell. Otherwise, a teacher might give you a low grade because you weren’t attentive enough.

Make sure the quote is up to date

No matter how precise the quote is, if it is said by an academic in a 20-year-old journal, your professor won’t consider it. The scientific world changes rapidly, and every day thousands of articles are posted and published. Much information that used to be on-spot ten years ago is outdated these days. If the source wasn’t reprinted or discussed in newer books or articles, it is most likely unimportant now. When looking for evidence, pay close attention to the publishing house and year of publication. Ensure using quotes from sources that are no older than five years.

A couple of good quotes are better than overabundance of weak ones

Many students often face a dilemma. They are not sure how many quotes to include. Therefore, some insert too many quotes, forgetting to explain them. Others have a single quotation only. Sadly, there are no guides on how many quotes you should add. However, to be on the safe side, try attaching three pieces per essay (suppose it is a standard, 500-word paper). Some subjects may require more, some less. It is always good to ask your teacher about the number of allowed quotes.

Insert quotes naturally

Schools, colleges, or universities aspire to make your writing smooth, understandable, and coherent. The structure and formatting style help you attain that. However, it is also vital to use the right language and transitional phrases. When you already know the quote you want to add, ensure making it an indissoluble part of the essay. You are highly encouraged to use verbs like add, state, exclaim, note, claim, observe, argue, propose, suggest, announce, point out, criticize, declare, etc.

A good quote is a cited quote

We have already said that, but it is critical. Don’t forget to cite the quotes you used. If you don’t mention the source or cite it incorrectly, it results in plagiarism. Academic dishonesty leads to severe penalties. The main formatting styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago. Depending on your discipline, you have to use one of them.


Essays aim to develop our writing and critical thinking abilities. Every paper type has its purpose structure, and format. Also, essays require using authoritative sources. If you want to be sure a selected quote is appropriate and reliable, make sure to follow the tips above. Good luck!

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